5 ways to kick start creativity.

Creative block happens to all of us. You know you've got it when you're feeling burnt out and spend days upon days procrastinating. Well I have five simple ways to kick start your creative mojo and I want to share them with you!

  1. Relax! It may seem obvious or you may be wondering what it is you've got to relax about, especially when creativity is your job. But switching off for a couple of hours works wonders. If you struggle with the sheer thought of relaxing and aren't even sure how to, then may I suggest putting your phone and laptop in another room to you. Make yourself a cup of something lovely and find a comfy spot. Watch a bit of mindless tv. The trick is to stop your mind trying to think creatively and to give it a rest.

2. Scrap booking. Yes, Pinterest too. Creating a mood board full of inspirational images and things that simply sing to you will soothe the mind and is good for the soul. It relaxes, distracts and then gives us focus. Whilst it's ok to use Pinterest there's nothing quite like a stash of magazines and a pritt-stick is there.

3. Reading and a cuppa. Reading a really good book helps to unwind and unwinding is key to spur on our creative energy.

 4. Creating a still life for no reason. I love this one! Creating a still life in the home or outside with anything you can lay your hands on is a great way to connect with your creativity. It's like scrap booking only with toys! Remember when you were a kid and you got into that really cool game that just kept evolving, well creating a vignette or little flat lay works the brain in the same way. The power of touch and placing things in a pleasing order will not only inspire creativity but will lift our mood.

5. Get out the house and allow yourself some procrastination time. Yes you may be thinking we're trying to stop our minds racing, but actually I'm talking about controlling it.
Get out for a walk or some exercise and allow your mind to wander, see where it takes you, you may just find that it sorts everything out and by the time you get home your head will be clear and you'll know exactly what it is you need to do. I try and walk the dog for at least an hour a day and this is my thinking time where I get to sort out my brain, life, the world, I always feel so much better and ready to function after a good walk.

So there we have it, my top five ways to kick start creativity. You see by allowing ourselves to unwind and switch off, then giving ourselves permission to think whilst doing something active really helps us re-connect to our creative side. Give it a go, I'd love to hear how you get on.


Living room decor

My creative home.

Today I thought I would share with you a peek of my newly painted living room. Well, nearly, I re-decorated it just before Christmas. I wanted a calming and warm hue that would be a nice backdrop to all of our creative clutter and furniture and it had to feel inspiring. In the end I went for Pigeon by +Farrow & Ball I love the fact that it changes colour as the light moves around the room, starting with soft silver sage and turning to a very peaceful green as the evening draws in.

The colour works beautifully with my floral creations and I love how it makes both my old brown furniture and the painted stuff sing! I've painted the fire places in railings and the stairs in all white both by farrow and ball. Fairy lights tend to stay up in our house all through winter, it keeps things cheery and adds to the feeling of hygge on a cold winters night. I usually take them down when I spring clean, by this time they generally need a good dust.

Hope you enjoyed my little living room tour. Have you got any projects you're about to start?



Industrial kitchen makeover

Industrial kitchen styling.

Industrial shelving

A change of vintage style influenced my kitchen makeover.
Its fair to say my old kitchen was rather dull and in need of a serious design makeover.
I wanted to do something really different that pushed me out of my comfort zone. I'd studied interior design a few years back and knew what I needed to do to make my new love of moody hues work. Good lighting and textures play a key role in my new design. 

My old dated kitchen.

I painted the whole room including the ceiling in +Farrow & Ball railings. It was a bold move and I didn't bother doing a tester. My kitchen is always a dark room and the light is always on, you may wonder why I didn't paint it white? Well, it wasn't far off white and I figured if I have to have the light on all the time anyway, then it really isn't going to make that much difference.

There are five hanging industrial type bulbs that can be moved around plus we are putting in some wall lights too.

I decided to keep my cupboards white to reflect the light. 

Gone is the chintzy china and pretty tea towels as my taste in vintage has taken a shift in style.
I am loving hand thrown pottery and anything with real texture. The industrial shelving was made from reclaimed factory roof paneling and a blacksmith forged the brackets.

Texture is continued with nature, I wanted a very organic feel. I am loving having everything in easy reach and it has made me really organised, which for someone that lives in a constant creative mess is kind of a blessing.

I've kept my old scales on display along with my favourite mason coffee cups and handmade jug that belonged to my nan.

The last remaining floral plate in the kitchen. I love this one so it's a keeper!

I bought these delicate fairy lights in the January sale and they are the perfect length. Fairy lights aren't just for Christmas.

My latest plant life. I have been adding a few plants to my home this winter to keep my mood up and give me something nice to look after and tend to once a week. I miss my garden and growing all my flowers in the winter so I find having pot plants keep me in touch with nature.

Well, what do you think? Has your vintage style shifted too?


Creative stories on Steller



Switch off Sundays.

Mindfulness, a word that is everywhere right now and one I've been embracing of late. Reprogramming your brain to relax and be calm can be a hard thing to do when your business requires you to blog, use Instagram and Pinterest on a daily basis. Which is why I've started what I call 'switch off Sunday'.
As a child my Sundays involved the Sunday lunch and a trip out somewhere nice, maybe a picnic in the summer months, or a great film on a Sunday evening. The shops were closed (yes I'm nearly 40) and mobile phones were mostly car phones for the rich. Sundays were slow in a good way and were to be enjoyed and made the most of before returning to school/work on a Monday. I miss those days!

To make time for the lovely relaxing Sundays I used to enjoy, I've decided to do switch off Sunday. This means that apart from watching a film, technology is banned. To make it even less tempting I go one step further and delete my Instagram and Pinterest apps from my phone. That may sound odd if I'm not using my phone anyway, but just knowing those apps are there at a touch is far too tempting. Out of sight really is out of mind.
With these deleted my mind instantly frees up and I start to think of ways to spend the day, like baking, gardening or simply enjoying my home. If it's nice out we'll take a trip to a national trust garden and walk the dog. If it's chucking it down, which very much seems to be our British winters, then I make the home cosy, read and we all help out with the Sunday dinner. Come Sunday night we're relaxed and ready for Monday. I don't even look at my phone till Monday morning when I reinstall my apps and carry on working.

If you need some down time in your life I can really recommend switch off Sunday! Let me know how you get on.


Finding your focus.

It's the second week of January. All the mince pies are gone, the decorations are down and the big clean up has commenced. We're tired of talking about new years resolutions and all we want to do is crawl back under the duvet. Sound familiar?
As someone who struggles with SAD, I know just how tough it can be to feel awake and wanting to get going whilst we are waiting for spring. So I thought I'd share my tips and feelings with you on how to keep going through January/February.

Firstly I remember all the lovely things I've done over the past year, flicking through my Instagram gallery helps with this. Scrolling through the seasons, remembering those trips away, the lunch in that pub. Then I make a mental note (or jot it down). I do this so that I can make some plans for the new year. Already I've booked a trip to RHS Malvern spring show and we're going to see a play at the theatre, some things to look forward to.

I also meditate, now I don't sit with my legs crossed, finger and thumb murmuring hum. Instead I sit very still and reflect on the way I'm feeling today, I usually do this when everyone has left the house and I've just finished breakfast. If I'm feeling a bit down and crap I concentrate on why that is. Sometimes it is down to something I may have going on, sometimes it's the winter months and sometimes I just haven't been very kind to myself. I work out which one it is, If it is the first thing I try and work out if there is a way to resolve it or just accept it for what it is and know that in the end, said thing will be done. If it's the second thing then I practice hygge (more on that in a bit).
But if it's the third thing then I know I need to take a different kind of action, I need to get outside! Sometimes we feel sluggish in the winter because we've forgotten to drink enough water and eat enough fresh raw fruit and vegetables, we're probably consuming vast amounts of tea and coffee and not much greenery. If I know this is the reason for my low mood I don't start into an obvious health kick, Lord no. I very gently make subtle changes to ease myself back into a healthier pace of life. I drink herbal teas, scroll through pinterest to find some new green recipes, I'm currently loving smashed avocado with chilli and garlic on sourdough toast. And I roll out the yoga mat and do some gentle yin yoga. Just these few things are enough to spur on getting back to normal and putting my energy levels right.

Now for that bit on Hygge! Hygge is the Scandinavian word for a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment as quoted by wikipedia, but achieving it takes more than lighting a candle and having a cup of tea. I find the feeling of hygge needs the third part of what I've just explained, so the herbal tea, the kind food and gentle meditation and yoga, but it then requires what I call the finishing touches: comfort! A de-cluttered home and you can get those candles out now. Since winter drives us indoors we need to make our homes a pleasing place to be, we've got our bodies sorted now we need somewhere to get cozy. Making our home warm and comfortable to live in will, if paired with looking after ourselves, be the icing on the cake and give us that warm feeling of contentment, ah now isn't that nice!

Lastly, I have one more tip, try to limit your time on social media. I find it helpful to set a couple of times in the day to check my emails and Instagram (as that is where my business acc is), and not pick my phone up for anything else. It helps to put your phone where you can't see it, another room if possible and forget about it. Ok, so you have children at school or you're at work but come on, I'm talking about the times of the day when you really don't need it, you know when they are. 
Hope you're feeling inspired. I'd love to hear your tips on getting through winter!



Inspiration board.

I love this image of this kitchen! As you know I'm giving my kitchen a make-over this month. You can see my inspiration Pinterest board here. Yes I am really thinking of painting my fridge in blackboard paint!

Emma x



Block printing on linen

I've really got my crafting mojo this year, let us hope it sticks around. I spent my time over Christmas making things for my home and I just wanted to share some snaps with you of my latest piece of crafting.
I bought the Indian block way back in the summer and had this piece of linen left over from another job.

I'm so pleased with the results so I decided to turn it into a couple of cushions. It didn't cost much, I think the block set me back around £6.00 and the paint about £12.00 (which I've still got lots of). 
Have you got any crafts on the go at the moment or, is there something you're looking to start?



Industrial vintage.

Hello, I have an industrial style interiors post to welcome you this year. Plus a little bit of a guilty secret. I thought I'd fallen out of love with vintage! Ah I know right. Turns out I hadn't but it took me a while to figure out what was going on. You see my taste in vintage has changed and this is what got me so confused. I loved chintz and now although I still find it pretty and there will always be a place in my heart for it, I just don't want to see it in my house for a while. I was searching for a new look and struggling to commit plus fearing change. Last year I decided to gently get rid of my white chintz living room and embrace a moody pallette of charcoal and sage with hints of linen. After swapping around my vintage furniture I suddenly realised I'm still as much in love with timeworn pieces as ever. I love the stories behind vintage pieces, I've come to realise that my style has evolved. I love rustic and industrial furniture and rich dramatic hues and textures. So I've decided to make over the whole house! I've been spending way too much time on Pinterest and have decided the next room in line for a makeover is my kitchen! Here are a few of my favourite inspirational pics I've found on Pinterest. The original sources were long lost, so if it's yours, please let me know so I can credit you.

When daylight is better I'll snap some pics of my new living room to show you. Plus I'll make sure to do some before and afters of the kitchen.

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